Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, December 25, 2003


I had a good visit at my grandmother's today, although my mom was very tired and none of the others really were feeling well. I have to admit, I'm concerned that my mom and my grandmother are both on medication for diabetic neuropathy--a burning pain in the extremities that can eventually lead to limb loss. The first thing I did once I got back up here was refill my metformin prescription, which was overdue by a few days. It left me without any great desire for sweets, either. Fortunately, sucralose seems to be a viable alternative in terms of baking and cooking. I don't want to wind up facing that myself. So far, my diabetes has been fairly well under control, although I sometimes feel pricking in my hands that I think may be the first signs of neuropathy. It feels like hot needles.

My mom surprised me by giving me our family clock. It's a pendulum wall clock my father brought back from Tokyo during the Vietnam War with a prancing ceramic horse at its head. It's an integral piece of my childhood and the one thing from home that I would be distraught to lose. I waiting to hang it until I can get a sturdy hanger and check for studs in the wall.

When my father's mother was dying of cancer, she sold our family farm and everything in it, and told me to go get anything I wanted before the man came and carted it away the next day. In a panic I went, alone, through the house, even into what I now realise was an unfinished attic where I pulled out things like my treadle sewing machine and a clock with painted glass. My mom really loved it, and I certainly didn't have the money to fix it, so I gave it to her. They've fixed it now and it's running like a charm. Turns out it was made between 1845 and 1888 by a company that later became Timex. It needed a new weight on the pendulum, counterweights (although, in retrospect, I think I have those, I just didn't know that's what they were for), and a restringing of the pendulum. So they have that now, so my mom took down our clock and packed it up for me. I find it's ticking and chime oddly comforting and hypnotic. So I'm looking forward to getting it up and running.

The drive down to Danville was wonderful. The weather was sunny and cool, but clear. I took a camera with me because, well, I guess we're at a point where every Christmas could be the last together. I suppose that's true all the time--one never knows what will happen--but my grandmother's nearly 80 and I worry about her.

I couldn't afford gifts this year, so instead I wrote a personal note in each card of what I most appreciated in the person. I guess sometimes we never tell people how we feel, and so I thought that might be a good thing to do for the holiday.

I'm taking Cerys for a sleepover later so I've been napping with her. She's such a good cuddle puppy, and very warm. She's always been very bed-oriented. I remember when I first brought her home from the pound and she sat down, tail wagging, eyes big and pleading to come up on the bed, but not about to until I gave the okay. Once I did, it was her bed from now on.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Here's hoping you all have a safe and happy holiday.

Ok, everyone sing along: On the first day of Christmas, the universe gave to me a trip to grandma's house.

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